The Vive Le Rock Awards 2019 - A True Celebration Of UK Rock n' Roll History (1/2)

  • April 29th, 2019
  • Written by marcusoz

The Vive Le Rock Awards. What a wild experience that was.

 


 

The night itself, was overrun by an unhinged plethora of legendary rock ’n rollers all meeting together to celebrate the success of the long-running magazine. That itself was made very clear from the off – as almost every guest took the liberty of congratulating the VLR team on its integrity and passion and with every audience member bubbling with excitement at the prospect of being within meters of their idols. The thick crowd was made up of punter and some of the quirkiest characters in rock n’ roll history. The whole evening encapsulated the spirit of the music it was celebrating, and even though there were a few technical errors – the human element of these mistakes made the night all the more grounding.

Vive Le Rocks very own Eugene, who was clearly ecstatic about the packed out room in front of him and instantly sets the tone with his quick quips, witty one liners and that classic VLR attitude. He kept the entire night running with the swagger to boot (and possibly a few bevvys to loosen him up). You could see how much this evening meant to him and the team, it was clear in his speech and in his demeanour that he was engrossed in the magic of pulling together some of the greatest names to exist in the industry for his baby. This enthusiasm and community pride ran through the evening and was adopted by everyone in the room almost instantly. It was incredibly warming to be a part of something clearly so special.

Starting with the Vive Le Rockers, the night kicked off in tremendous fashion by bringing together the backbone of the evening to play a few corking tracks together. We had just made it in time due to traffic issues and the audience were already filling their boots to the brim. Swiftly after the Vive Le Rockers finished, we were welcomed by Glen Matlock who broke into three of some of his greatest tracks and brought things to a (slightly) steadier pace, which was just in time for the awards to be announced.

You can view the full listings of all the awards won by visiting the Vive Le Rock website.

The most bittersweet moment about this night was the announcement of the third award: The Roots Award. As Neville Staple walked on stage to announce the winners, you could already tell there was a weight to his tone and everyone knew what was coming. At this point, I wasn’t aware of who had won the award and hadn’t made the connection myself until The Beats name was announced over the microphone. There was an eruption of cheers, much louder than those of the previous winners, as Pauline Black from The Selecter walked on stage.

 


 

The night before, The Beat had to say goodbye to one of their founding members; Ranking Roger. The Beats frontman had unfortunately lost his battle against two brain tumours and lung cancer the previous evening surrounded by family and friends. All realms of the music industry stopped to take a moment to pay their respects at the time and eulogies were still being posted all over the internet during the awards. Both Pauline and other members of The Beat were with Roger the hour he passed, so naturally you can imagine that accepting an award only a handful of hours later on his behalf must have been incredibly difficult. The entire audience felt the pressure of the situation and were incredibly respectful of how difficult this moment was for everyone. A moment that I managed to capture a small fraction of in the video below;

 

As the night carried on, you could see each person in the room becoming less sober and more erratic when given the microphone – which made for some hilarious moments and some slightly more awkward ones. One of the most memorable moments for me had to be when Eugene has planned for a video to play after he spoke. It took a while for the media team to get the video up and ready to play, which left plenty of time for some of Eugenes impromptu comments that further added to the nights charm. As far as mistakes go, the team handled it well and bounced back with ease which kept the entire flow of the evening intact.

 


 

The ceremony was broken up briefly by stellar performances from Pauline Murray and Steve Diggle before announcing the final handful of awards, by this point you could see that the audience was itching to see The Stranglers perform. But they were thrown off course by the announcement of the Icon awards winners appearance – the legendary Suzi Quatro. The audience quickly whipped themselves back into shape and were maintaining a buzz throughout her acceptance speech. She then took to the stage after the final award was announced and performed ‘Sweet Little Rock And Roller’, which the crowd sang back in unison like a husk-toned group of boozed up choir boys. It was only then, that I realised truly how precious this whole night was. The sudden realisation that this could well be that last time we could see all of these incredible people in a room together had just dawned on me. So I took a bit of a selfish moment to just take it all in and appreciate the opportunity I had by being there. Which was then enhanced immensely by seeing members of the Buzzcocks perform ‘Even Fallen In Love’ along with other incredible hits before being rounded of by exclusive performances by Barrie Masters, Edd Tudor-Pole and Eddie & The Hot Rods.

Finally, the Band Of The Year award was given to the rightful headliners of the night – The Stranglers. Every audience member was dazzled by their presence and this was amplified when they took to the stage for an exclusive 30-minute set to close the night. They have been performing for a long time and didn’t show any signs of slowing down anytime soon. It was a very special way to end a very special night and they held themselves with the gusto and pride that the event had created for itself – by itself. A massive congratulations is in order to the VLR team for pulling something like this together, it’s only going to get bigger from here!

We also had Josh Bessant from Crooked Little Sons tag along to the event with us – so we thought we’d ask him what he thought of the night as a budding rock n’ roll star himself trying to cut his teeth in the underground punk/rock n’ roll circuit. You can read his review of the event here.

 


 

Written By; Marcus Oz